By Onome Oghenetega
Late renowned industrialist and a member of Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Sunny Odogwu, was on Friday buried at his home in Asaba, the Delta State capital, amidst outpour of tributes from dignitaries who attended the funeral.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, his Edo State counterpart, Mr. Godwin Obaseki , former Governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan and Delta South APC Senatorial candidate were among prominent Nigerians who attended the burial.
Others are former Governors Okwesilieze Nwodo of Enugu State, Victor Attah of Akwa-Ibom State and a host of others also paid their last respect to the late philanthropist.
Chief Odogwu died Nov 6, 2018 at the age of 87 at his Lagos home. He holds a high ranking traditional title of Ide Ahaba of Asaba.
He was laid to rest at his residence in Asaba after a requiem mass that was presided over by the Catholic Bishop of Issele-Uku Diocese, Bishop Michael Elue.
Okowa who was represented by his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, described the late Sunny Odogwu as an inllustrous son of the state and would be greatly missed particularly for his philanthropic gesture to the less privileged in the society.
The governor said the former PDP Board of Trustee member left a very good legacy for everybody to uphold, adding that as government “our thought and heart are toward Odogwu’s family.”
In his sermon, Most Rev. (Dr.) Elue said that the life of a man is short and defined by God, adding that the day man will return to God is uncertain.
He charged all to live good life and impact meaningfully on people’s lives in order to attract the mercy of God.
The cleric said: “There is life after death, one is sweet and cool and the other is bad and painful, depending how once you live your life.
He then urged Nigerians to make out time every day to get close to God, saying “let us work hard to make the eyes of God see us as His own.”
Bishop Elue described the late business mogul as a good Christian and man of his word, irrespective of his religious affiliation.
The founder and chancellor of Madonna University, Rev. Fr. Ede described Odogwu as a good man who touched many lives irrespective of where you came from.
Meanwhile, at a day of tribute organised by the Coalition of Artists Musicians and Authors (CAMA), renowned Professor of Sociology, B.I.C. Ijomah urged the people of Anioma (Delta north) to resist every attempt to rig their son, Gov. Okowa out of power in the forthcoming governorship election.
He said the Federal Government recently commissioned a military base in Asaba with the intention of using the army to allegedly rig election, insisting that the militarisation of the state is not necessary at the moment.
Prof. Ijomah said the late Odogwu stood for equity, fairness and justice, adding that it was only fair and just that an Anioma son from the north is allowed to complete eight years as governor just like Ibori, an Urhobo from central and Uduaghan, an Itsekiri from south completed their two terms as governors.
He therefore urged Anioma sons and daughters to close rank and support Dr. Okowa’s re-election bid, adding that there is no logic to justify why any Anioma person will be supporting another governorship candidate outside Okowa.
“I take the liberty of this solemn occasion to call on all Anioma people to shine their eyes during the coming election. What happened in Ekiti and Osun states must not be allowed in Delta State. Dr. Okowa is doing very well. We must encourage him to touch other areas with infrastructural development.
“Militarisation of Delta State now is not necessary. It is a part of grand design to rig elections. The military is needed more in the North-East. Politicians must ensure that no drop of Anioma blood must be shed to satisfy political ambitions,” he warned.